Ben Smith at Politico usefully put forward a link to the revised McCain health care plan that was spotlighted in a speech by the Arizona Senator today. He also quoted the responses by the two Democratic presidential campaigns:
John McCain is proposing a radical plan that would mean millions of Americans would lose their job-based coverage: The McCain plan eliminates the policies that hold the employer-based health insurance system together, so while people might have a ‘choice’ of getting such coverage , employers would have no incentive to provide it. This means 158 million Americans with job-based coverage today could be at risk of losing the insurance they have come to depend upon.
While Senator McCain touts the choices his plan offers, people who are older or sicker would actually have no choice under his new proposals. Older Americans or those with pre-existing conditions would be allowed to get only one type of coverage in a high risk GAP pool. That kind of arrangement does more to help insurers than individuals. In addition, high-risk pools fall far short of helping people in need. Virtually all high-risk pools today have waiting lists, high premiums, and scaled-back benefits. The millions of vulnerable Americans who lose employer-based coverage could have to wait months, maybe years, to access the GAP high-risk pools, if they are like the pools that exist today.
To top it off, Senator McCain has offered no straight talk on how he would pay for these initiatives.
Sen. Obama (via spokesman Hari Sevugan):
At a time when 47 million Americans don’t have health care, and millions more are being driven to financial ruin trying to pay their medical bills, John McCain is recycling the same failed policies that didn’t work when George Bush first proposed them and won’t work now. Instead of taking on the big health insurance companies and requiring them to cover Americans with preexisting conditions, Senator McCain wants to make it easier for them to reject your coverage, drop it, or jack up the price you pay. But the only choice he’s offering the American people is a tax break that won’t guarantee coverage and doesn’t ensure that health care is affordable for the working families who need it most. Barack Obama has a universal health care plan that will cover every American and cut the cost of a typical family’s premiums by up to $2500 a year.